Gone are the days when this sweet/tangy hot sauce was relegated to dim dumpling spots and banh mi joints across Sunset Park, or surreptitiously slipped without mention into various Southeast Asian dishes across the city. Not only is sriracha seriously heralded on the menus of some of the most celebrated eateries throughout the borough, both Asian (TALDE) and non-Asian (The Vanderbilt) alike, this writer even spied it on a Lazy Susan of condiments at a Staten Island Boston Market — nestled prominently between the Heinz 57 and the A1. Now if that doesn’t indicate the current state of sriracha in society, I don’t know what does.
So to what do Brooklyn’s most prominent sriracha proponents make of its inexplicable rise in popularity?
“It’s pretty simple: it’s fucking delicious,” commented chef Dale Talde. “Also, unlike other hot sauces, it offers more than just heat. It has depth of flavor. I love to mix it with Frank’s Red Hot to make a hot sauce, which I literally put on everything. It’s going to be the base of our wing sauce at Pork Slope; it’s our table sauce at TALDE. Fried chicken with hot sauce and ranch is my shit.”
Restauteur Saul Bolton, the globetrotting chef behind Saul, Brooklyn Bangers, Nitehawk Cinemas and the Vanderbilt is equally enamored of sultry, savory sriracha.
“It’s the new ketchup in New York kitchens, which used to be a not talked about secret ingredient,” Bolton confirmed. “It’s an expression of America’s continual evolution as a melting pot of cultures—spicy, sweet, with a little acidity. We use it in dressings, soups, octopus, marguez sausage mix, and of course, our famous brussels sprouts at The Vanderbilt!”
So take a clue from these two top chefs (and of course Boston Market) by dropping the ketchup and taking a stab at these sriracha-centric recipes at home!
For the Sri-Rancha
3 oz. ranch powder
1 C buttermilk
16 oz sour cream
24 oz mayonnaise
1 ½ oz sriracha, dehydrated to a powder
Spread siracha on a silpat lined sheet tray and dehydrate in the oven at 200 degrees for 6 hours. Remove from oven and continue to air dry for an additional two hours, cool and buzz in a spice grinder. Mix all ingredients together for the ranch.
To serve: Pour sri-rancha dressing over a wedge of iceberg lettuce, Maytag bleu cheese, and Chinese bacon, steamed, sliced, and fried until crispy.
rice wine vinegar
toasted sesame seeds
Remove any blemished outer leaves from sprouts, cut into quarters, and set aside.
In a small, non-reactive bowl, put limejuice and rice vinegar. Whisk in room temperature honey and then sesame oil.
Whisk in sriracha to taste, and (be brave!) add a dash or two of fish sauce and set aside.
Now if you have a fryer, great — if you don't (which I bet ya don't), you are best off oven roasting the sprouts at 450 until roasty, crispy, golden brown. You must be patient- don't jump the gun!!
When they are deemed ready for dressing, transfer the roasted brussels into a bowl - add chopped shallots, sesame seeds, and chopped cilantro along with the sriracha/lime liquid. Toss toss toss, and then top with any remaining seeds and cilantro.